Are book clubs making a comeback? Penrith resident Leanne Torres certainly thinks so.
Ms Torres has started a new group for lovers of literature in the local area.
After she moved to Penrith from the inner west, she decided to use her love of reading to reach out and make friends.
“As a child I used to read heaps of books but with the pressures of being an adult, working and running around for the kids, books seemed to be low on the priority list,” Ms Torres said.
“I wanted to meet people, create a community and connection for my partner and I plus read more so started it up.”
The group is open to anyone in Penrith and the surrounding areas who enjoys books.
Ms Torres said they cover all genres, so there is something for everyone.
“From the beginning I wanted the book club to be a really democratic process and I wanted everyone involved in the decisions, not just what book we pick but when we want to meet and where,” she said.
“People appreciate not one person telling them what to read but it also helps people experience other genres they wouldn’t normally read.”
Ms Torres said reading has many health benefits and that technology has been a positive for the book club.
“Reading is important to our mental health, it makes you feel good by finishing a book, it increases your vocabulary and studies show it helps prevent dementia,” she said.
“Technology has advanced with people reading on Kindles or phones, but books are still flourishing just in a more online sense.
“Social media has also made the group so easy to organise and attract younger people.”
If you’re interested in finding out more, you can join Penrith Book Club on Facebook to start your new chapter.